A Leader's Do's and Don'ts
As stated before, leadership is a crucial part to being a valuable member to not just Administration Team but, all the other subteams as well. It is completely fine that if you are a new member that it will take you a little time to get the hang of tasks because everyone needs the training. The point of doing tasks with other people initially is for team-building skills and also adjusting to the hands-on aspect of learning that many other classes do not demonstrate. Yet, after one gets the hang of that and has helped with multiple tasks, they start adapting into a leader after watching a senior member lead. This section highlights the qualities of what a great leader should harbor but, it also has examples of what a leader should not do. The examples of what you should do will hinder the focus of the team as well as attaining the dream of a great robot and an even better team atmosphere.
How to be a Leader
Take Responsibility for a Task- The first step into leadership is doing what a previous member has done for you. Though scary at times, in order to improve one must take responsibility for a job. When one has the opportunity to man their own team, it builds your skills a ton. As a side note, though the responsibility is important do not sweat anything going wrong. Mistakes are part of the process. Initiative is the main aspect that we as a team emphasize in order to grow as not just a member but as an individual as well
How to Act- Just because you are responsible for a task, it doesn't mean you have the privilege to be bossy. First, always act like your normal self because that is how people have interacted with you anyways. Any differences could be bewildering. But, you must hold solidarity behind your persona in order for the task to be done. If people are off-task divert their attention from the distraction back to the main objective at hand. If people refuse to do the task or is constantly a distraction, either pull them aside nonchalantly and inform them or simply tell them to leave while informing a teacher of the issue. Remember, the teachers are there to help, not just spectate.
Organization- In the past of 4311 there has always been a problem with organization of not just physical items but for a proper process in order to complete a task with efficiency. Hopefully, in the 2021 season our physical organization is fixed with the bin system. When taking up a task, depending on the difficulty, it is always good thinking of a game plan for the task. some tasks are very self-explanatory ie. drill a screw into a piece of wood yet other tasks require more steps. For example, we had to build a ball launcher in our 2020 season which isn't very easy in itself. When planning either have a mental roadmap of what you want your team to do or even better, draw it our for the rest of the team to see. Teammates are there not to ridicule but to improve an idea. Lastly, if you lead a task please have an emphasis on even distribution of work. People who are on this team are here because they want to. By piling on tasks, it is not great at all. It overworks them and they may leave which isn't very good for member retention.
How to NOT be a Leader
Behavior- As stated previously, behavior is a driving force when it comes to finishing tasks. In the past, there were many moments where we have gone off-track due to the behavior of both the leader as well as the participants/teammates. Please if you are the leader of a task, do not get sidetracked with conversation. That is usually the teammate's actions to start up a side conversation but as a leader the best thing to do is to either avoid the conversation as a whole or ask to complete the conversation after the completion of a task. As a teammate please refrain from sidetracking because it stalls the progress of a team. Especially during build season when time is limited, that extra 5 minutes is a game changer. Besides that of course do not be rude or obnoxious. Its alright if you do not initially notice but if a team member flags you down for it, please do not repeat it. A thought to keep in mind for both the leader of a task/team and its members, the teacher is always available if a conversation needs to be made further.
Management- When completing a task with multiple steps, it is always important to check in with either the leader of a task or with a fellow team member to let them know what you are doing. Things that are done on their own accord could either not be required and in turn hinder a task from being complete or it is done the wrong way than what a person asks you to do. If someone does a task wrong it is never good to ridicule them for it. It is just part of the learning process so it is just better to move on and learn from it. A leader should always overlook the tasks that others are doing and aid them if there is any discrepancy or confusion. Lastly, no matter who you are, in order for a task to go smoothly it is always great to stay focused and respect the piers around you because without them, these tasks would definitely be harder.
Communication- One of the 7 major steps of the Engineering and Design Process (EDP) is the topic of this subsection which is communication. The major don'ts for communication is to be unclear. Any task that is in the midst of completion should be informed as stated before. As many new members would do, they would go with what they are told without really any thought. It is completely fine for the people that it works with but you are encouraged to speak up. As long as your idea pertains to the task at hand, do not be shy to voice your opinions. It can be a thought that could change the process of how we built our robot or it can be a minor correction. Any opinion is significant. The more ideas and input in a task will introduce better and unique ways to complete a task. When these people do speak their opinion make sure your expressions and body language do not disrupt the atmosphere. If one disagrees, with an idea, please do not lash out and tell them how they are wrong. Suggest them the complications of their ideas and suggest how to either improve it or pose a better idea and lay out your argument. We want to stay civilized, not like a group of middle-schoolers at a lunch table. Lastly, please be friendly to the people around you. Your attitude reflects that others think about you. As teenagers we care about our image and first impressions a lot. So please show everyone that you aren't unapproachable. This also helps in later instances of life, for example meeting with college recruiters. The atmosphere we want here is one of seriousness yet, it should be an environment where everyone is included without any hesitation.